An organic food specialist in Glasgow has described the sale of a long-established family-run restaurant to a multinational conglomerate as "depressing" news for the city's independent food scene.

Ubiquitous Chip, which has been owned by the Clydesdale family since 1971, has been bought over by a subsidiary of Greene King, as revealed in The Herald last week.

The company is owned by China-based conglomerate, CK Asset Holdings, one of Hong Kong's largest property developers.

Two other west end restaurants owned by Colin Clydesdale and his wife Carol Wright -  Stravaigin and Hanoi Bike Shop - have also been acquired by Metropolitan Pub Company.

Greene King released a statement in which Mr Clydesdale said he believed the business was in "safe hands".


The owners of Locavore, which operating five stores in Scotland selling organic produce, said they could only assume that the couple had no option but to sell to a "most unusual choice of buyer'.

In a social media post to customers the firm suggested that Stravaigin should update its slogan - 'think global, eat local' to 'eat local, fund multinational'.

It writes: "Such depressing news for food in Glasgow, Scotland and the independent business world... The Ubiquitous Chip was a leading light for good food in Glasgow since the 1970's.

"They had some focus on local produce and even had their own market garden for a couple of years.

READ MORE: Glasgow family-run restaurant institution sold to chain 

"We can only assume Carol and Colin had no choice but to sell; but it is the most unusual choice of buyer - China based CK Assets, who own Greene King. 


"Hopefully Stravaigin update their slogan to Eat Local, Fund Multinational...

"We promise we'll never sell out. It's engrained into our constitution as social enterprise and community interest company."

One person responded to the post saying that he hoped the sell-off would "focus customers' determination to support true, local independents."

The Chip as it is affectionately known in the city, marked its 50th birthday in 2021.

In an interview with The Herald the couple told of the difficult in managing three restaurants during the two lockdowns of the pandemic. 

The couple said they were looking forward to a more stable year but told of ongoing difficulties in recruiting staff due to Brexit and then Covid.

Locavore has unveiled plans to create an urban garden in Glasgow after securing a 20-year-lease on a prime site in the south of the city that will allow it to expand the business.

The company plans to offer community growing plots as well as "scaling up" its own commercial operation as a hyper-local supplier of organic flowers, fruit and vegetables.